Sharing the latest thinking in innovation

EACTS’ inaugural Innovation Summit

From papers on the future of the artificial heart and myocardial regeneration, to the latest thinking on mechanical and tissue engineering, and bioprinting, the greatest minds in the world of cardiothoracic surgery and innovation came together earlier this year to share knowledge and ideas at the EACTS’ inaugural Innovation Summit.

Attended by engineers, scientists, surgeons, cardiologists and industry leaders from Europe, North America and South Africa, presenters at the Summit included Anthony Atala, G. Link Professor and Director at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and William Cohn, Director at the Center for Device Innovation, Texas Medical Center, who holds more than 100 patents.

Over the two-day summit a total of 36 presentations were made with four presentations selected by a jury panel to be shared at this year’s 37th EACTS Annual Meeting in Vienna.

Driving better patient outcomes

The Summit is the first step in EACTS’ commitment to a renewed focus on innovation with the aim of driving better patient outcomes, with further announcements expected in the coming months. The presentations will provide those working in the cardiothoracic community with new information and thinking.

Friedhelm Beyersdorf, EACTS Immediate Past President (2022), said, “It has long been my vision that as an organisation we double-down on our commitment to innovation so that as surgeons we can continue to improve outcomes for heart and lung patients. There is already a lot of work looking into existing treatments and how to improve current techniques, but we are now aiming at the next level, how to develop new ideas and completely new concepts and make these part of everyday clinical practice. The conference in April was just the beginning – we owe it to our future patients to ensure we continue to learn and innovate across our profession and throughout our careers.”

Mark Hazekamp, EACTS past President, said, “This is an important first step. Our Association is looking to the future and innovation is fundamental for EACTS members, for the development of our profession and for our patients. The four presentations that will be shared in October are thought provoking and will provide valuable insights to our colleagues from all over the world to help stimulate more ideas and thinking outside of the box. At EACTS we will do our best to help turn concepts into reality.”

Franca Melfi, EACTS Vice President, said, “Sharing information freely among colleagues and a focus on practices that may become commonplace in the future is essential if we are to inspire the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons. I’m very excited that through the Innovation Summit EACTS has committed to the cross-fertilisation of ideas and collaboration to further innovate developments in our profession.”

Read the EACTS Innovation Report 2023 here.


Friday 6th October | 13:45 – 14:45

Presentations include:
Shock waves for myocardial regeneration
Opto-electronic implant for rhythm control
Mitochondrial transplantation
Multi-organ repair: controlled automated
reperfusion of the whole body (CARL

EACTS News – latest issue out now

Read the latest issue of EACTS News to keep up to date with the latest news and developments at EACTS.

In this issue, you can find out about:

  • The keynote speakers at the 37th EACTS Annual Meeting, which is just around the corner
  • Our inaugural Innovation Summit
  • The latest findings from the joint ESC/EACTS Left Main Review
  • A brand new exam launched by the EBCTS to assess and recognise the expertise of cardiothoracic surgeons across critical care


ESC and EACTS joint statement

2022 joint ESC/EACTS review of the 2018 guideline recommendations on the revascularization of left main coronary artery disease

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS) have collaborated on reviewing the evidence for the treatment of low surgical-risk patients with left main coronary artery disease. The review, authored by a panel chaired by Professors Robert Byrne and Stephen Fremes, was published today in the EHJ and EJCTS.

The expert group’s conclusion, after a comprehensive review of all relevant evidence, is that for low-surgical risk patients, both coronary artery bypass surgery  (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are clinically reasonable based on patient preference, available expertise, and local operator volumes. They have advised that in future guidelines the class of recommendation and level of evidence for CABG should be Class I and Level of Evidence A, whilst for PCI it should be Class IIa and Level of Evidence A.

Their report and associated materials are now being considered by the Task Force working on a new guideline for Chronic Coronary Syndromes, scheduled for publication in August 2024. Until then, the ESC and EACTS believe that local Heart Teams should consider both the current (2018) guidelines and the findings of the expert group when discussing the management of patients with stable coronary artery disease.

You can read more on this story:

  • Click here to read the Editorial co-authored by Rafa Sádaba (former EACTS Secretary General) and Colin Baigent (Chair, ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee 2020-2)
  • Click here to access the Task Force’s findings: the 2022 joint ESC/EACTS review of the 2018 guideline recommendations on the revascularization of left main coronary artery disease in patients at low surgical risk and anatomy suitable for PCI or CABG.

EACTS Council Nominations 2023

The Council is the governing, decision-making body of EACTS. The Council is made up of up to 15 members who each serve for set terms, in different capacities, acting at all times in the best interests of the Association, our members and ultimately the patients that we serve.

Each Councillor will serve a set term (normally of up to three years) and each year a number of new Councillors are appointed as the terms of current Councillors come to an end. Councillors to be appointed must complete a process of Nomination (detailed below), selection and eventually, ‘election’ by the members at the General Assembly in October 2023.

Vacant Council Positions 2023
This year the following positions on Council are to be filled.  A job description for each position is available by clicking on the title;


Vice President
The Vice President will be elected in October 2023 with a view to becoming President in October 2024 and serving a final year on Council as Immediate Past President from October 2025.

The position of Treasurer is vacant on the Council from October 2023 until 2026. EACTS is seeking an EACTS member to fulfil this role who has skills in financial strategy and management, knowledge in accounting and investment, and the availability to commit 8-10 days a year for meetings and attend the EACTS Annual Meetings each year during the three-year term. Due to the nature of this role, a separate finance panel will interview candidates and make a recommendation to the Nominations Committee.

Domain Chair-elect Positions 2023
The position of Domain Chair-elect is nominated and selected (but not elected to Council) up to one year before the incumbent Domain Chair steps down. The Chair-elect will serve on the domain and shadow all the current Chair’s activities including Council activities; they will not attend nor vote on Council itself (other than, in exceptional circumstances, to represent the Domain on Council in the absence of the Domain Chair. In this circumstance, they will not vote). The Nominations Committee will select the Chair-elect positions through the normal nomination and selection process; however, the General Assembly will be invited to vote on the appointment, in the year that the Domain Chair-elect is elevated to the office of Domain Chair (ie, one year following selection).

The Process of Nomination and Selection

Nomination Process
To ensure a fair and transparent process, the EACTS Nominations Committee will oversee the nomination and selection process. This year, the Nominations Committee is made up as follows:

Senior Past President: Peter Licht (Chairman)
Past President: Mark Hazekamp
Immediate Past President: Friedhelm Beyersdorf
President: Patrick Perier
Secretary General: Patrick Myers

Any EACTS member can nominate a fellow member for a specified role on Council (there is no limit to the number of nominations a member can make). For avoidance of doubt, current Councillors, Domain and Task Force members may nominate, but members of the Nominations Committee may not.

In making a nomination, the person making the nomination must write a letter of support that includes:

  • A summary of the contribution that the person being nominated has made to his/her professional field
  • The contribution made to the work of EACTS more broadly by the person being nominated
  • The skills and experiences the person being nominated will bring to Council and the specific role under consideration.

The person making the nomination should, after having received confirmation of the willingness of the nominee to stand for election, send a digital form of this letter, with a brief Curriculum Vitae of the person being nominated, to the Chair of the Nominations Committee via the dedicated EACTS email address [email protected]

Nominations open on Saturday 1 July 2023.

The closing date for Nominations is 6pm (CEST) Friday 4 August 2023.

The Nominations Committee will consider all applications before making a recommendation to the EACTS Council.  Council will make the final decision as to those to be formally presented for election at the EACTS General Assembly on 6 October 2023 (Vienna).




Vacancy: CPG Chair and Committee

Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) Committee Chair and Committee Members  

EACTS is the leading professional association for cardiothoracic surgeons and allied health professionals and is committed to providing the highest level of continuing educational activities for raising standards and helping improving outcomes for patients with cardiovascular, thoracic, and vascular disease. The purpose of the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) Committee is to provide comprehensive and regularly updated clinical practice guidelines to assist patients and a wide range of healthcare practitioners in making effective decisions that will have a positive impact on patient outcomes and health-related quality of life.  

EACTS is seeking to appoint a Chair to lead the Committee and approximately 8 Committee members. 

Closing date 

The closing date for both Chair and Committee roles has been extended to 10 May 2023, 5 pm GMT

Chair role 

Read the information for applicants for the role description and person specification, and for information on the application and selection process. Please ensure you include in your application a completed Additional questions for applicants form. 


Committee member roles 

Read the information for applicants for the role description and person specification, and for information on the application and selection process. Please ensure you include in your application a completed Additional questions for applicants form.  

How to apply

Please apply via the EACTS Membership User Area

For instructions on how to apply via the EACTS User Area, please click here


If you have any questions please contact the Guidelines Programme Manager [email protected]

FFF Fellowships 2022-23 announced

We are delighted to announce the successful recipients of the 2022-23 Francis Fontan Fund Fellowship programme.

A high number of exceptional applications were received this year, reinforcing the programme’s prestigious reputation amongst the cardiothoracic community. This year’s programme includes seven new fellowships, offering more opportunities for surgeons to expand their knowledge and gain invaluable experience working with leading surgeons in their fields.

Congratulations to the following members:











  • Ukrainian Support: Anton Pechenenko, Maksym Rzhanyi, Volodymyr Demianenko and Viktoriia Tymoshenko


  • VATS: To be confirmed



Commenting on this year’s applications, Professor Ruggero de Paulis, Chair of the Francis Fontan Fund, said: “We have received an unprecedented number of outstanding applications to the Francis Fontan Fund this year – an increase of 80% in applications received compared to 2021. With 14 Fellowship Programmes to choose from I am proud to Chair the prestigious Francis Fontan Fund. It presents unparalleled opportunities for young surgeons to advance their education and careers in cardiothoracic surgery, learning from experts in their fields in some of the best institutions worldwide.

“It is very encouraging to see so many young surgeons from across Europe and beyond recognise the benefits of taking part in the Fellowship programme and being part of our global cardiothoracic community.”

Viktoriia Tymoshenko, one of the recipients of the Ukrainian Support Fellowship, said: “Let me express my sincere gratitude for such a unique opportunity to be chosen for fellowship in University Hospital Clinic de Barcelona and to be a part of your professional community. It has special meaning for me now when my country is attacked every day with thousands of people wounded. As young Ukrainian surgeons, I want to thank you for your contribution to the development and support cardiac surgery in Ukraine. I see the fellowship as an unrivalled chance to sharpen my knowledge, upgrade my professional skill and gain valuable experience from the leading specialists of hospital.”

Application for the 2023-24 Francis Fontan Fellowship programme will open in Spring 2023. Click here for more information about the programme.

EACTS WiCTS Committee at The 36th EACTS Annual Meeting

The Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery committee held a stimulating workshop at the 36th EACTS Annual Meeting – Embodied Leadership: The Hidden Dimension. The session explored the various ways that practising personal power can help to achieve objectives. We’re overjoyed that the workshop received a high rating!  

Introduced by Secretary General Patrick Myers and diversity expert Mira Vasic, participants were able to take part in practical exercises to for building confidence and resilience. Together, we learnt about the most common, unwritten masculine and feminine rules in the game of power and leadership. It was an honour to see Yolonda Colson in attendance, the 103rd  President and first female President of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery. 

26% of delegates were female at this year’s Annual Meeting and the WiCTS workshop was a first-of-its-kind session attended by 75 men and women. Empowering women surgeons to take up senior positions has become an important priority for EACTS. This workshop, and the WiCTS webinar series, helps to give women the inspiration and confidence to take leadership roles. 

Looking back on the success of the session, Chair of the WiCTS committee, Jolanda Kluin, said: “It was a great opportunity and a pleasure to discuss this topic with male and female surgeons at the Annual Meeting in Milan. I believe that creating an inclusive workplace, a place where everyone feels a sense of belonging, is an important requirement for high quality care.” 

At the Annual Meeting, the EACTS TV channel lifted the lid on sessions, giving the audience a chance to stay on top of hot topics and hear from key opinion leaders in more detail. The second episode of The Big Debate dissected equality and diversity in cardiothoracic surgery with expert panellists: Jolanda Kluin, Franca Melfi, Alicja Zientara, Martin Grabenwöger and Nabil Hussein. The full episode is available to watch via the EACTS Media Library here. 

The WiCTS committee recently launched a thought-provoking webinar series – The changing face of leadership: moving from diversity to inclusion. The series blends theory with practical information from experts and an array of guest speakers, offering vital tools to maintain influence and leadership as a cardiothoracic surgeon in the current landscape.  

Directed by Jolanda Kluin and moderated by webinar coach Maleene de Ridder, the series will run until May 2023 and is free for EACTS members. Non-members can participate for a small fee.  

Learn more about upcoming sessions and register here. 

Thank you to our sponsors for their ongoing support: AtriCure, Edwards and Medtronic.

Access world-leading education wherever you are

We’re excited to be extending the reach of the EACTS Academy by offering a number of courses in a new, hybrid format allowing delegates to participate regardless of location or circumstance.

Register today for the first hybrid course of 2023

Sign-up today for the three-day ‘Fundamentals in Coronary Artery Disease’ course and join course director Aaron Ranasinghe for the first session of this innovative series, which will explore the clinical aspects of coronary artery disease through an array of interactive lectures and hands-on sessions.

The course will run from 31 January – 2 February 2023 in Windsor and online.

More information about the course, registration fees and application can be found here.

EACTS Statement: Radial artery versus saphenous vein versus right internal thoracic artery for coronary artery bypass grafting: EJCTS publishes results of independent review.

Matthias Siepe, Editor in Chief, said: 


Today, EJCTS has published the results of an independent review of the meta-analysis entitled, Radial artery versus saphenous vein versus right internal thoracic artery for coronary artery bypass grafting, that was originally published in EJCTS in June 2022. 


The original paper by Gaudino et al. was based on a meta-analysis of individual patient data comparing outcomes using different grafts for coronary artery bypass surgery.  


Following publication of the original paper by Gaudino et al, several concerns were raised with us, including the appropriateness of the methodology that was selected for the analysis. After careful consideration, we commissioned Professor Nick Freemantle’s Comprehensive Clinical Trials Unit at the Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology, University College London, to conduct a further review.  


Further analysis conducted by UCL showed that: 


  • The results were similar to those identified by Gaudino et al when using the same methodology, confirming that the data handling was numerically and statistically correct. 
  • Differences were noted between individual matched groups using propensity score matching across three groups. Supportive conventional analyses found was associated with better matching and didn’t find systematic difference on the outcome of mortality when comparing the different grafts used in CABG.  


This is an outstanding example of open science: editorials, letters to the editor and social media questioned a paper. The authors were open and shared their entire dataset and code, in compliance with the author guidelines, for independent re-analysis. These supporting analyses give a clearer picture of the robustness of the initial findings, and paint a clearer picture of how to interpret the results. 


We have published the additional analysis today in the interests of open science and to ensure as comprehensive a picture as possible is available publicly to help inform the best treatment options for patients. 


The original authors should be applauded for sharing their entire dataset and codes with us for re-analysis, and we will welcome further responses on this issue for publication in EJCTS.  


Read more here and here.